Jrue Holiday dedicates Pelicans’ win vs. Celtics to Kobe Bryant
Several NBA players suit up with a heavy heart on Sunday after news broke out that Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and his second-eldest daughter Gianna tragically passed away after figuring in a horrific helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. Among those was New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, who spoke about Bryant shortly after his team’s 123-108 win over the Boston Celtics at Smoothie King Arena.
Jrue Holiday talked about how much Kobe Bryant meant to him as a kid growing up in Southern California. Jrue noted, “in my heart (I was thinking) Kobe would want us to beat the Celtics.”
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) January 27, 2020
Bryant, who played for 20 seasons for the Lakers, did have some epic battles against the franchise’s heated rivals Celtics during his years in the league. Holiday made sure to give justice to that rivalry by putting up 25 points, six boards and five assists in 36 minutes of action.
Holiday entered the league in 2009 and has had the pleasure of going up against Bryant before his retirement from basketball in 2016.
Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds and also spoke about Bryant’s influence over him growing up.
The NBA, meanwhile, has already lost two prominent figures in a span of less than a month, as former NBA Commissioner David Stern also passed away at the beginning of the year.
Paying tribute to the legacy of the Lakers great, both the San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors committed 24-second violations to begin their match at the AT&T center. Bryant wore the number 24 during the second half of his career.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young also switched his jersey number to eight on Sunday, the same number Bryant donned when he first entered the league in 1996. The NBA is expected to honor Kobe in the coming weeks.